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Duterte Says Pacquiao Has 'Very Shallow Knowledge' of China Dispute

Champ should study first before commenting, President says.
by Erwin Colcol
A day ago
FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte shows to Sen. Manny Pacquiao the list of suspected high-profile drug personalities during the latter’s courtesy call to the President in Malacañang on Nov. 14, 2016.
Photo/s: Ace Morandante, PCOO

(UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte urged Sen. Manny Pacquiao to read up first the issue on the West Philippine Sea before making comments on his government's response to China.

In an interview with his friend, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, aired Tuesday night, Duterte commented on Pacquiao's recent remark that he found the government's stance on the West Philippine Sea "lacking."

"It's about foreign policy. I would not want to degrade him but next time he should... mag-aral ka muna nang husto," Duterte said. "Apparently this guy has a very shallow knowledge."

Pacquiao, who serves as president of Duterte's PDP-Laban party, said in May that the 76-year-old leader should maintain his stance on the sea dispute with China when he was still mayor.

He cited Duterte's remark during his 2016 presidential campaign wherein the then mayor said he would ride a jetski to the disputed reefs and plant a Philippine flag there to assert the country's sovereignty.

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"Sa akin, nakukulangan ako kumpara doon sa bago pa siya tumakbo, noong mag-eeleksyon pa yan. Dapat ipagpatuloy niya yun para magkaroon din naman ng respeto sa akin ang China," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao's statement earned the ire of some of his partymates, prompting PDP-Laban executive director Ronwald Munsayac to clarify that the senator wasn't criticizing Duterte over the matter.

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"Sen. Pacquiao simply gave a personal assessment of the President's stance now but immediately hoped that the President goes back to his own previous tougher stance. Where is the criticism?" Munsayac said.

Pacquiao, in response to Duterte's remark, said the President was misinformed about his comment on the West Philippine Sea issue.

"I firmly believe that my statement reflects the sentiment of majority of the Filipinos, that we should stand strong in protecting our sovereign rights while pursuing a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the dispute," he said.

"I respect the President’s opinion but humbly disagree with his assessment of my understanding of foreign policy. I am a Filipino voicing out what needs to be said in defense of what has been adjudicated as rightfully ours," he added.

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Duterte would later say that his 2016 promise was merely a "campaign joke."


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